Monday, April 21, 2008

biz plan contd.

Section III, Part B Marketing Plan
Evolving the Marketing Plan consists of the following five steps:-
•Analyzing opportunities
this is a composite analysis in the sense you are looking at not just creating a market for your product but you are looking at every available opportunity to increase the size of the market. a good example is air deccan, by dropping airfares, it created a whole new market of air travelers, but by making air tickets available at unconventional places such as gas stations, it increased the market spurred by sheer convenience.
•Selecting target segments

target segment as i said in my previous blog is that segment of the potential market that has the money to buy, is willing to buy, has access and most important, is buying. it is very important for the marketer to identify this correctly. eg a cheese- laced snack to be launched in China. like Cheetos for example. there may be willingness, they may have the money, and the product may be accessible, but chinese people will not buy this product as most of them as a race, are lactose-intolerant. it therefore becomes important for the marketer to have already incorporated this detail from his Market Research findings in the product launch stage.
•Designing marketing strategy
This is an activity that refers to understanding the industry in which you are located, the competitive environment and your target segment, based on which you will develop your pricing and distribution strategy. you may want to 'do a maggi' to get penetration in the early days, especailly if you are a prime mover; you may consciously lower the price vis-a-vis competitors' in the early stages, especially if there are well-entrenched products and lowering the price may be the only way of breaking their strangle-hold; or you may consciously keep premium pricing, particularly with luxury products in the conspicuous consumption space.

you may also look at newer ways of reaching the product to the customer. a brand show-room, more visible theme shelf in super-market, unconventional outlets, mail order, etc.
•Developing marketing programs
marketing is all about creating, communicating and delivering value. all three have to be in sync. eg cheers detergent of P&G was a hugely successful product in the US whose value proposition was that it worked equally well in hot and cold water and caused tremendous sudsing. all their communication in the US reveolved around these two value propositions.when they launched in japan, they continued to use the same value propostions, but to their dismay they found that the communication seemed to be falling on deaf ears.

market research subsequently showed them the error of their ways: in japan people are used to using cold water only, so the value proposition of hot and cold water made no sense. second, in japan, they add fabric softener to water along with the detergent which prevents sudsing. so the second value proposition also made no sense! cheers had to be re-launched changing the entire communication platform.
•Managing the marketing effort
marketing has to be a sustainable activity if the company is determined to build the necessary biz traction. there are several aspects to marketing,- market, environment, both task and broad, and communication. it is also a dynamic activity, market shares change over time and space, market shares change with marketing program inputs, market shares change with definition of the market itself. eg in the early days, it was alright for coke and pepsi to define their market as cola market. but over time, there has been a need for them to redefine their market and today Robert Isdell, CEO of coke has the wisdom to say that it is not pepsi who is their competitor because it is not just the cola drinker who is their customer but anyone who drinks! which may include soft drinks, juices, coffee and tea, carbonated water and still water!

how the whole marketing mix is managed and how well it is managed is what has to be delineated under this heading.

we will discuss Section IV which is all about Operations in my next blog.

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